Milford’s Urda caps brilliant lax career

About the only thing missing after four seasons of college lacrosse at Eastern Connecticut Eastern Connecticut State University was an exclamation point.

Unfortunately for Milford’s Gavin Urda, it was the opposition, Keene State, that had the final say, trouncing ECSU in the Little East Conference championship, 24-8.

Even without the pressure-packed finish, Urda’s career came to an end, fraught with emotion.

“It was tough. I’ve been playing sports my whole life,” said the former Milford High three-sport standout (basketball and football). “To see that come to an end, it was a tough pill to swallow.”

Urda’s athletic career has been nothing short of sensational at Eastern, all that he could have asked for when making his choice back more than four years ago.

“My first thing coming out of high school was that I didn’t want to stay in New Hampshire,” he said. “I found Eastern Connecticut and I saw they had a pretty good lacrosse program. Also, their physical education program was one of the best majors at the school. It had exactly what I needed.”

Talk about making the most of his chances, Urda paid his dues, sitting a bundle over his first two seasons, netting only nine goals combined.

But Urda bulled his way into the Warriors’ midfield as a junior and never looked back. The 5-8, 175-pounder netted 29 goals as a junior and 42 more this spring, adding 41 assists over the two seasons as well.

When the news came down that he earned First-Team All-Little East Conference status for the second straight year, he was thrilled.

“I was very pleased,” said the oldest of four Urda boys. “I tried to step into a leadership role junior year, and I thought I did it pretty well. I just extended that and expanded my game into senior year. It worked out very well.”

Indeed, Eastern was only 5-10 a year ago but turned things around quite nicely in a 10-7 campaign this spring.

Urda will never forget the

experience.

“Just the chance that you immediately have 40-some-odd friends when you walk on campus because you’re a part of the team is so huge,” he said. “Growing together over the four years is an awesome experience. The bond you have with these guys has been pretty cool.”

But now it’s onto a future without organized sports, something Urda will have to adjust to. He’ll start by returning to his summer job, working in the finish carpentry field.

Yes, Urda is equally as adept with a hammer as he is with a lacrosse stick in his hands.

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